Wales politics

Nathan Gill: 'Negativity' in Welsh Assembly politics

Nathan Gill in BBC Wales radio studio
Image caption Nathan Gill quit as an independent AM but is still serving as a UKIP MEP

A UKIP MEP who resigned as an AM last month has criticised the way politics is done in the Welsh Assembly.

Nathan Gill was an independent AM for North Wales in the Senedd before stepping down in December.

He told BBC Radio Wales he did not like the "argumentative, the negativity" in politics in the assembly which he described as a "bubble".

UKIP's Mandy Jones has been sworn in as the party's new assembly member for North Wales.

When asked if he had been happy in the Senedd, Mr Gill said: "No, not really."

He was one of seven UKIP members who won assembly seats in the 2016 election.

However, after infighting he left the party's group in August that year to sit as an independent member.

Mr Gill, who is one of four Welsh MEPs in the European Parliament, said: "There is a difference between assembly politics and Welsh politics and I discovered that the assembly is very much a kind of a bubble that seems to be in its own little world whilst everybody else in Wales have different priorities and different concerns."

Speaking publicly for the first since stepping down as an AM, he told the Sunday Supplement programme it was not a mistake to take up the role because it enabled him to help UKIP fight for a Brexit vote ahead of the referendum.

Referring to his continuing role as an MEP, he said Brexit was the "biggest priority for the Welsh people and that's something I want to focus the next year and three months constantly looking at, reporting back to the Welsh people and then, hopefully, that will end my time as a politician."

An assembly spokesman said: "The assembly will continue to represent the people of Wales' interests, as it has every year since its founding.

"In doing so, Assembly Members will examine the Welsh Government's policy and legislative initiatives on the issues that are consistently prioritised by their constituents - issues such as healthcare, schools, economic policy, social care and increasingly the impact of Brexit on Welsh communities."

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